SustainableVentura.TV's May 2013 show (hosted by Maryann Ridini Spencer), features a trip to the Earth Day Eco-Fest in Promenade Park and visits with the Refill Shoppe (363 E. Main in downtown Ventura) and the Ventura County Medical Center (VCMC) to find out about their reduce and reuse policies. City of Ventura Environmental Specialist Courtney Lindberg also shares some great tips on preventing stormwater pollution. WATCH THE SHOW: http://bit.ly/12bK2Cp
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SustainableVentura.TV's May 2013 show (hosted by Maryann Ridini Spencer), features a trip to the Earth Day Eco-Fest in Promenade Park and visits with the Refill Shoppe (363 E. Main in downtown Ventura) and the Ventura County Medical Center (VCMC) to find out about their reduce and reuse policies. City of Ventura Environmental Specialist Courtney Lindberg also shares some great tips on preventing stormwater pollution. WATCH THE SHOW: http://bit.ly/12bK2Cp
One of my favorite things (besides cooking & writing!) - Travel with family and photographing nature's beauty
Take care of You
If you don't take care of yourself, there won't be enough for you -- or for anyone else -- to go around. So make sure you're getting the recommended 8 hours of sleep a night and that you're eating right. When you reach for that candy bar or artificially sweetened food, remember that eating fresh and natural foods minus the chemicals is better for your health. Read labels. If the ingredients are one's you can pronounce or can't readily identify, don't buy the product.
When you purchase food look for the "USDA Organic" label because these national standards define organic as those foods that are produced without the use of most conventional pesticides and without synthetic fertilizers. Food products cannot use the USDA Organic seal unless at least 95% of their ingredients are organic.
Additionally, the food can't be genetically modified, irradiated to kill bacteria, or fertilized with sewage sludge from waste treatment plants. Organic meat, poultry, eggs and dairy products come from animals that are given organic feed and no antibiotics or growth hormones. Currently, there are no organic regulations for fish.
Also look for foods that are NON GMO Project Verified and make sure when you buy whole grains; you're really getting whole grains. Look for labels that say 100% Whole Grain (47g or more per serving) vs. Just Whole Grain (8g or more per serving) at the beginning of the ingredient list.
When buying meat or poultry, it says 'natural,' that may mean the meat just hasn't been fed hormones in the last 12 months before finding its way to the grocery shelf. Ask for 'never never' meat -- as in never used growth hormones or antibiotics. Grass-fed is another step up in terms of flavor, quality, and nutritional benefit."
Plant a Garden
Not getting enough fresh fruits and vegetables? Plan a garden. Gardening, a wonderful distraction to everyday life, allows us to focus on the task at hand. In doing so, it actually helps to decrease stress. The great thing about gardening is that you'll also benefit from all the fresh locally grown produce. If you don't find gardening appealing, enjoy another hobby on a regular basis - dance, tennis, and bird watching - any hobby that allows you to escape and live in the moment.
Learn how to say NO
Before you agree to paint a friend's house, host a dinner for 40, join one more networking group, go over your schedule and figure out if it's coming to come with a price. Saying yes to everything can often create stress and unnecessary activity in our lives keeping us from the things and people that mean the most to us. Evaluate what each activity will take, the pros and the cons, and how it will impact your precious time.
Take a Trip with a Friend or Loved One - Leave the kids at home
Family vacations are fantastic and important. However, Mom and Dad have got to have their time away from the kids. Parents need to connect as romantic partners. If you don't have kids, or the kids are long gone, you still need to get away every now and again. For a long weekend -- or a week or more vacation. Planning a fun getaway is a great way to have something exciting to look forward to, dream of and talk about.
A Few of Your Favorite Things
We all remember that song Julie Andrews sang in the "Sound of Music" -- "My Favorite Things." Well, make a list of what yours are. It might be enjoying that first cup of coffee of the day outside sitting in your garden. Maybe it's having a glass of wine at night looking at the stars, talking a long walk by the shoreline or volunteering for an important community event. Make sure you do at least one or more of these activities daily to put a smile on your face.
Live. Love. Laugh.
Live to your fullest. Love a lot and laugh daily. If you do this, the best in life will come to you and your heart will be open to receiving.
For great recipes, creative living inspirations and more, visit my website and blog at SimplyDeliciousLiving.TV
Did you know that many household cleaning products, while even used "as directed" could be hazardous to your health as well as the environment?
Many household products are toxic and can be hazardous to your health, they can also pose a threat to the environment if they end up getting into our drains and waterways.
On product labels, have you ever read words like flammable, corrosive, reactive or toxic? If so, in the future, why not consider safer and more "eco-friendly" alternatives.
Looking for less toxic alternatives isn't always easy, either. Even when a product is listed as "safe" or "green," it can be masking as environmentally friendly. This is called greenwashing and can be very confusing to consumers who are trying to make more eco-conscious cleaning product choices.
The best mode of operation is to look for statements that read: non-toxic, non-petroleum based or free of ammonia, phosphates, dye and perfume, and that read "biodegradable."
Stay away from products using words such as: DANGER and POISON. Products labeled CAUTION or WARNING contain the least toxic, but can still cause harm.
Green Cleaning Recipes from Care2.com
How to Make a Non-Toxic Cleaning Kit
- Baking Soda
- Washing Soda
- White Distilled Vinegar
- Natural Liquid Soap or Detergent
- Tea Tree Oil
- 6 Clean Spray Bottles
- 2 Glass Jars
Creamy Soft Scrubber
Pour ½ c. of baking soda into a bowl, and add enough liquid detergent to make a texture-like frosting. Scoop the mixture onto a sponge, and wash the surface. This is the perfect recipe for cleaning the bathtub because it rinses easily and doesn't leave grit. Note: Add 1 tsp. of vegetable glycerin to the mixture and store in a sealed glass jar to keep the product moist. Otherwise, just make as much as you need at a time.
- ¼-1/2 tsp. liquid detergent
- 3 T. vinegar
- 2 c. water
- Spray bottle
Put all the ingredients into a spray bottle, shake it up a bit, and use as you would a commercial brand. The soap in this recipe is important. It cuts the wax residue from the commercial brands you might have used in the past.
- 1 c. or more baking soda
- A squirt or two of liquid detergent
Sprinkle water generously over the bottom of the oven, then cover the grime with enough baking soda that the surface is totally white. Sprinkle some more water over the top. Let the mixture set overnight. You can easily wipe up the grease the next morning because the grime will have loosened. When you have cleaned up the worst of the mess, dab a bit of liquid detergent or soap on a sponge, and wash the remaining residue from the oven.
All-Purpose Spray Cleaner
- ½ tsp. washing soda
- A dab of liquid soap
- 2 c. hot tap water
- Combine the ingredients in a spray bottle and shake until the washing soda has dissolved. Apply and wipe off with a sponge or rag.
- ½ tsp. oil, such as olive (or jojoba, a liquid wax)
- ¼ c. vinegar or fresh lemon juice
- Mix the ingredients in a glass jar. Dab a soft rag into the solution and wipe onto wood surfaces. Cover the glass jar and store indefinitely.
Keep a clean spray bottle filled with straight 5% vinegar in your kitchen near your cutting board and in your bathroom. Use them for cleaning. The smell of vinegar dissipates within a few hours. Straight vinegar is also great for cleaning the toilet rim. Just spray it on and wipe off.
Tea Tree Treasure
Nothing natural works for mold and mildew as well as this spray. Tea tree oil is expensive, but a little goes a very long way. Note that the smell of tea tree oil is very strong, but it will dissipate in a few days.
- 2 tsp. tea tree oil
- 2 c. water
Combine in a spray bottle, shake to blend, and spray on problem areas. Do not rinse.
Makes two cups.
Straight vinegar reportedly kills 82% of mold. Pour some white distilled vinegar straight into a spray bottle. Spray on the moldy area, and let set without rinsing if you can put up with the smell. Smell will dissipate in a few hours.
This article by Maryann Ridini Spencer also appears at SustainableVentura.TV
The Legend of St. Valentine
In ancient Rome, around the time of 278 A.D., St. Valentine, a priest during the reign of Roman Emperor Claudius II, was executed on February 14. The Emperor decreed that young men could not marry and have families, as the he felt that it would detract from their duties and commitments as soldiers. Legend has it that St. Valentine performed wedding ceremonies for young lovers in secret. Eventually, St. Valentine was caught, imprisoned and beheaded for these acts of love and kindness. The fact that St. Valentine was executed for love makes him a much loved, heroic and martyred romantic figure.
Just before his execution, he is said to have written a letter to his jailer's daughter, signing it "From Your Valentine."
Throughout the ages, Valentine's Day has been celebrated in many ways across the globe. It's been recorded that Valentine's Day greetings date back to the Middle Ages, with written Valentine sentiments coming much later.
While some may look upon Valentine's Day as a becoming somewhat of a commercial holiday, it's important to remember the true meaning of how and why the day is remembered.
This Valentine's Day, how are you planning to show your husband, wife, girlfriend, boyfriend, mother, father, children and other family members and friends your love?
A beautiful card? A romantic dinner? A gift of a dozen red roses or a box of candy?
Whatever you decide, here are some ideas that I hope will inspire you:
*For a very special Valentine - a great gift for a woman to receive is a locket (with slots for photos inside). That way she can wear her locket close to her heart -- always. And for a man, a pocket watch, also with room for the photo.
*Poets such as John Donne, William Shakespeare, Dickinson, Gibran and Browning set hearts afire with their words. Purchase a book of love poems (or download them from the internet), and then read and share the poems with your loved one by a roaring fire.
*If you're good at taking photos, building a book of memorable pictures of the places you've visited together, and the places you'd like to visit, can be made and bound on online publishing sites such as lulu.com and blurb.com.
*Create a series of special cards (the size of index cards) on nice card stock. You can purchase these types of cards at stores like JoAnn's, Michael's, Staples and Office Depot to name a few. Decorate the cards by writing and painting on them, even attaching photos. Come up with a series of things that you will do for your loved one and document this on each individual card. Some ideas could include: A massage after a long day at work, preparing their favorite meal, packing a picnic lunch to share on an ocean bluff, a day get-away to a spot you'll both enjoy. Have fun and get creative!
*Surprise your partner with an unexpected weekend get-away (or even a night away) to a romantic bed and breakfast. (Minus the computers and electronics!)
*Prepare your partner's favorite meal and share a romantic movie classic together.
Love is precious and our time on earth is limited. Remember to tell the ones you love, how much they are loved. Celebrate your love on Valentine's Day - and better yet, every day.
For simply delicious, easy-to-make recipes and creative inspirations for joyous living, visit my blog at SimplyDeliciousLiving.com.
Listen to THIS "Celebrating Love on St. Valentine's Day" PODCAST, CLICK HERE.
While your making your New Year's resolutions in your personal and professional life. Keep the environment in mind!
Here are some green tips to help save the planet that can also help you save on your pocketbook!
•Buy local, fresh, organically grown fruits and vegetables
Save on greenhouse gas emissions and use less gas when you visit the grocery store. Plan your trips and carpool with a friend. You'll cut down on local pollution and also contribute to the local economy when you buy local.
Is your car a gas guzzler? If so, why not opt for an energy saving vehicle or better yet, if you can, walk, ride a bike or take public transportation!
•Energy Efficient Living
Discover how to make your home more energy efficient, CLICK HERE.
•Green Your Office
You can help save the environment buy employing sustainable practices at the office. READ MORE.
Clean your home, yourself & your environment using healthy Green Products. LEARN MORE.
•Buy Recycled Paper Products
Products made with 100% recycled paper require less water in the manufacturing process. Recycled products also reduce waste going into our already overcrowded landfills.
•Carry a water bottle and Recyclable bag everywhere you go
Avoid buying bottled water when you can bring delicious tasting tap water with you in a BPA-Free, recyclable container. You'll save money, your health (drinking water is healthy and you'll save the environment.
A great way to reduce plastic bag use is to keep reusable bags in the car, your purse/briefcase/backpack, etc., where you will remember to take them into the store. Use reusable produce bags instead of the plastic bags at the store and Farmer's Market.
•Easy retrofits for water conservation
Installing low-flow showerheads and faucet aerators in your kitchen and bathroom sinks are simple and inexpensive ways to conserve water. Low-flow showerheads and aerators can reduce your home water consumption as much as 50%. The cost of heating the water can also be reduced 50%. Using less water and energy keeps money in your pocketbook and saves our natural resources!
A landscape can be both beautiful and water efficient. Set your irrigation timers at season appropriate watering cycles set to water only in the early morning or later in the evening to avoid evaporation and wind interference. Get water to the intended targets, the roots of your garden and lawn.
REDUCE•REUSE•RECYCLE IN 2013!
By Maryann Ridini Spencer, From Sustainable Ventura
Holiday Stress Busters!
The December Holiday season is a great time to celebrate with family and friends.
However, while it's a joyous time, it can also be a stressful and demanding time. Perhaps you'll have a houseful of guests? If that's the case cleaning, cooking and entertaining can be daunting. Maybe you have a lot of gifts to buy in a down economy or perhaps it will be the first season you'll be without a cherished loved one?
What are some ways you can keep the joy and curb the stress?
•Ask for help. If you're the host for a big event, seek out assistance for shopping, cooking, cleaning and sharing the holiday-related chores.
•Make a list and do check it twice. Planning ahead and designating a budget for gift shopping as well as entertaining items, will allow you to limit your trips to the store and the pain on your pocketbook.
•Maintain your health (and your waistline!) during the holidays. Get regular exercise, eat right and make sure you get enough sleep. Indulging too much in alcohol, sweets and cakes will not only make you feel bad, it can cause guilt and stress levels to rise. (Not to mention panic when you step on the scale!).
•Create an escape. If too much family togetherness is getting you down and you find yourself needing a breather -- clear your head and take some time for yourself doing what you like to do. Try talking a long nature walk, reading a good book, listening to a symphony or watching a good movie.
•Spread the JOY. If you're feeling alone at the holidays, get social and volunteer your time at a church, temple or community event.
•Do your homework before traveling. If you're traveling, check the weather and plan for unexpected delays. Don't wait until the last minute to pack or get to the airport. If you're traveling with children, bring games, reading material and other amusements that can keep the children interested if you're delayed. If you're not a fan of plane food or those high calories, unhealthy snacks you find at airports, you may also want to pack your own meal and bring some healthy snacks along. Eating right will keep you feeling balanced and positive.
•Get creative. A great way to get in the spirit is to plan a fun arts and crafts or baking day with family and/or friends. Put on your favorite music, get creative and enjoy the company.
•Surround yourself with LOVE. Fill your heart and your time with those people and things you truly love. Take heed of the past, if you know a situation is going to cause you too much pain or stress, avoid it. Make this the best holiday season ever!
LISTEN TO the Simply Delicious Living
"HOLIDAY STRESS BUSTERS" Podcast, CLICK HERE.
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On Thursday, November 8, 2012, the first Water: Take 1 Online Short Film Contest Awards Presentation and Party was hosted by Brooks Institute of Photography on one of the sound stages at their Ventura Campus. SustainableVentura.TV's Maryann Ridini Spencer covered the event attended by Ventura Mayor Mike Tracy and Ventura City Councilmembers Christy Weir and Neal Andrews. Those present enjoyed refreshments and mixed and mingled before watching a special video presentation of finalist and winning films. Also present were local contest winners and representatives from Patagonia, Limoneira, Ventura Water and iThentic, all contest sponsors.
Over 125 people attended the free ceremony, open the public with an RSVP.
WATCH THE VIDEO NEWS STORY
On Thursday, October 25, 2012 from 4:30-7:30pm, The Ventura Chamber of Commerce presented the "Haunting at the Harbor" Business Expo at the Four Points Sheraton on Schooner Drive in the Ventura Harbor. The event featured over 60 local businesses showcased in tabletop exhibits, food vendors, a silent auction and raffles and prizes. The "Sustainable Ventura" TV Series was on hand to talk to attendees.
"Sustainable Ventura," hosted by Maryann Ridini Spencer and Ray Olson, airs on Caps-TV VTV's Channel 15, Thursdays at 8:30pm. It rebroadcasts Monday-Thursday and Saturdays at 9:00am, Sundays at 8:30pm and every other Wednesday at 8:30pm.
Halloween costumes, depending upon how elaborate you intend to get, can cost at a minimum, $25 dollars on up per costume. If you've got several children or family members to outfit, the costume bills (along with candy and other fun fare) can really start to mount.
So why not get creative with reusable, eco-friendly Halloween costumes? How do you start? Look in your closet. What do you have that might (when paired with certain items), make a great costume? Maybe you have all the items you need or perhaps you may have to buy one piece rather than an entire costume. Another great resource is check with friends and relatives. See what you can mix and match. Thrift shops, where others trade in their wares, are also a great place to find the little nuances to add to your costume. Below are some great ideas for reusable Halloween costumes to try:
Princess -Pair a long gown with gloves (short or long). Wear a tiara and carry a star wand. Your Halloween subjects will bow in appreciation.
Cowboy or Cowgirl- Flannel shirt with Jeans, cowboy boots and hat. You might even tie a red bandana around your neck. Don't forget to carry some rope - to lasso in your candy of course.
Halloween Masked Man- Everyone knows the iconic white mask from the John Carpenter Halloween movies. How to create this look? Black pants, black top and white mask of course. BOO!
Hippie or 70's person- Think colorful. For girls and women - pair a long skirt with a flowered top. Wear several long necklaces and dangly earrings. A headband around your head or floppy hat also works. For a man - pull out some ripped jeans and wear a cool t-shirt with a peace sign (or your favorite band logo). Put on the boots and/or sandals and maybe a funky hat. Now you're lookin' groovy!
Witch - Pair a black skirt and top with pointy hat. Bring a long a broom (or for a wand, carry a long glow stick!). Instead of black, you can also opt for being a good witch and wear blue or white. Whatever it is you choose to do, just remember to say, "Bippity Boppity Boo!" Now you're ready to caste some spells!
Vampire - I vant to drink your blood! To transform into a creature of the night that would even give Bram Stoker a scare, almost any type of dress with creative make-up will do. (If you have a red or black cape, fantastic. However, the only purchase that might be needed to complete the look - Vampire fangs! (Even a red lipsticked-mouth with droplets of blood dripping from the corners will do!).
Maid - Coffee or tea anyone? A maid's outfit might be anything from a black dress or skirt and top paired with a white apron. Don't forget to carry your broom, feather duster or even a silver serving tray!
Hobo -To create the look of an authentic hobo, try wearing some ripped or patched jeans or pants. An oversized jacket and t-shirt and a funny looking hat add great touches. Of course, don't forget your hobo stick (a long stick with a red kerchief pouch - which can double as another place to stash your candy!).
Hollywood director - Lights! Cameras! Action! If you want to get the look of an old time Hollywood director - wear some jeans or black pants, paired with a white or dark top. Don't forget the beret, dark shades. You might also want to carry a video camera to document the Halloween fun!
Let your creativity run wild.
Creating your own costume will be
almost as much fun as going out Trick-or-Treating!
*Original article by Maryann Ridini Spencer appears in print in the Sustainable Ventura Newsletter & Blog.
It's important for everyone to take a break from life as they know it and revel in the delicious luxury of vacation and of not doing anything - or doing as they please.
The complications of life, work and juggling many tasks often lead to stress and stress can definitely take a toll on one's body, physical appearance and health!
While it's important to take little breaks (like weekends) and enjoying regular hobbies and activities, there's nothing more potent than jetting off to a tropical vacation spot or taking an historical tour of a European location.
Vacations are a great way to connect to yourself and to those you love. Travel that gets commemorated in a picture album is also a way to relive the pleasure of a vacation long after the vacation ends.
I'm still delighting in a recent trip my husband and I took to Hawaii. I find that whenever I look at the many photos we took, I get a happy, energized feeling. I almost feel as if we are there!
Some great tips to keep your vacation stress free:
•Get a Vacation Account
Keep a savings account stash of cash just for vacations. Figure out what your budget will allow, then put away a certain amount of money each week on an ongoing basis. You'll be surprise how it adds up.
Research your destination. Talk to friends who might have traveled to the spot. Get recommendations for accommodations, food and sightseeing. Research information on the net. Better yet, perhaps an acquaintance might know some of the locals you can contact before you leave home. Some of my best experiences have transpired when I've contacted friends of friends. I've gotten some great, personalized tours of places that could have never been duplicated otherwise.
•Speak at least a few words
Knowing to say hello, goodbye, thank you, yes and no along with "Where's the toilet?" and some other important phrases can serve you well. While you may not be in for taking a Rosetta stone course, you can always find an English translation dictionary on Amazon.com or in your local bookstore.
•Understand the customs and local you're visiting
Americans have a bad enough rap as it is overseas. So, why not get caught up on the local customs? Research the country and towns you'll be visiting. When you get to your destination, you'll feel like a local and get a great education while you're at it!
•Get some of the local currency before you leave home. Travel with secure Traveler's checks.
While you may want to pay for everything on your trip with credit cards (a good idea to keep accurate records), you may also want to have a few dollars in your pocket of the local currency. Traveler's checks are also a great way to go because they're refundable, if lost or stolen and usually within 24 hours.
Find out the weather of the locale you'll be visiting at the time of your visit. Bring various layers of dress just in case. It's always a good idea to pack wash and wear and clothing that looks great no matter how wrinkled it gets. Bring multi-purpose clothes. For women, a dress you can wear during the day with sandals and at night with a pretty scarf or different jewelry to jazz it up. For men, a jacket that can be worn casually and with/or without a tie. (So at night, you can get into that exclusive restaurant!).
•Let work know you are on vacation (try not to answer emails)
A vacation is when you vacate your usual life. So put away the computer and texting. Let the office know you'll be unreachable. Make sure you have someone qualified to cover for you just in case there's a problem at work. Don't feel guilty. You deserve your vacation. It's also a good idea to post your pictures on Facebook when you get home. (It's NOT a good idea to let everyone know you're out of town!).
•Take lots of pictures
I know some folks that moan and groan that they have to get their picture taken. However, these same folks love seeing the photos post-vacation - especially as the years go by. So tell your family, spouse, friend or anyone else on the trip with you to, "Chill!" You're making memories here! Many new cameras also have video capabilities. If a picture says a thousand words then a video can, well you get the idea.
•Bring home a memorable item that will represent your trip
I always love to pick up a local artist's painting, watercolor or stencil when I travel. That way, when I look at them hanging on the wall at home, the memories flood back.
You might also pick up a beautiful piece of furniture that you can ship back or some other item that has meaning just for you.
Vacations are all part of Simply Delicious Living, so enjoy your trip, even if it's a weekend jaunt, you deserve every moment. To find out more about simply delicious living, visit my blog at simplydeliciousliving.com
LISTEN TO THE PODCAST FROM OUR RSS FEED, CLICK HERE.
Listen to Simply Delicious Vacations Podcast in iTunes, CLICK HERE.
"Green Drinks" is a term known in the environmental world as a fun,
meet up for like-minded business professionals in relaxing, celebratory
settings where they can network, exchange ideas and forge valuable
Well known in international environmental circles, Green Drinks is a network
of unstructured meet-ups where environmental professionals and
locals get together in a relaxing setting to network, exchange
and forge valuable relationships. At last count, Green Drinks
are hosted in over 600 cities worldwide.
The mixture of attendees at Green Drinks events usually include professionals
in the areas of: general business, academia, government,
home décor, construction and other fields.
On Wednesday, August 1, The Ventura Chamber of Commerce's
Green Task Force (GTF)
organized this year's first Ventura-based Green
Drinks event at
EcoLogic Life, downtown's designer showroom for
decoration products. The event was a smashing success
with over 50
attendees. Tutti's on Main provided the delicious food.
Alquimia Tequila provided the green drinks, made from organic agave, no food
LtoR: Diane de Mailly and Courtney Lindberg, Green Task Force Co-Chairs
"Green Drinks has been around for a long time," said Diane de Mailly,
President, DDM Metering Systems and GTF Co-Chair. "Recently, the
GTF was asked to step in and organize these events in Ventura. We know
they'll be a big success moving forward because Ventura is such an
amazing community dedicated to the environment. We plan to make
Green Drinks a quarterly event."
the GTF strives to do," added Courtney Lindberg, Environment
with the City of Ventura's Environmental Sustainability
GTF Co-Chair, "is to promote green business development.
We bring local
businesses together and educate them about sustainable
covering such topics as waste recycling, energy, water
pollution prevention and staff education. We highlight successes and
learn from our mistakes so that we can grow as a community with
business practices part of our every day consciousness."
Green Task Force LtoR: Courtney Lindberg (Environmental Specialist,
City of Ventura's Environmental Sustainability Division and Green
Task Force Co-Chair), Janis Shinkawa (Veterinarian, Buena Animal
Hospital), Diane de Mailly (President DDM Metering Systems
and Green Task Force Co-Chair), Kirsten Davis (AdvoCare)
and James Davis (Associated Electric)
you had to paint Ventura one color, it would probably be blue,
color of our ocean. If you added another color, it would be
green," Rick Cole, City Manager, City of Ventura. "This is a
community and environmentally-oriented to its core.
We all pay attention
to the motto 'Think globally, act locally.'
Whether it be on a global
scale, or a local scale, waste costs money
and pollutes the planet. It's
also something we don't want to pass
onto the next generation."
addition to Green Drinks, the GTF organizes a series of quarterly
Practices Workshops" where local businesses share their
green ideas and
practices with others in the community. To date,
there have been
workshops at Red Brick Pizza focusing on sustainable
practices and the
YMCA focusing on lighting retrofits.
VIEWVIEW Event Photos on Facebook, CLICK HERE.
May 2012, The Green Task Force teamed up with the office of
Assemblymember Das Williams's for the Second Annual Green Jobs
Summit held at City Hall.
Green Jobs Summit brought a number of businesses together to talk
ideas and sustainable principles," said James Joyce,
Representative, Office of Assemblymember Das Williams.
together on the Summit, our office developed a
great relationship with The Green Task Force. There's so much
synergy. It's great to be a part of it."
Stay tuned and read this newsletter for information on future
Ventura-based Green Drinks events.
VIEW the GREEN DRINKS TV NEWS STORY, CLICK HERE!
VIEW Event Photos on Facebook, CLICK HERE!
On June 7, 2012, the Ventura Chamber of Commerce, presented the Semi-Annual Tabletop Business Expo "Olympics by the Ocean" at the Four Points Sheraton. The City of Ventura's Environmental Sustainability Division and Ventura Water were some of the sponsors of the event.
LISTEN TO the Sustainable Ventura podcast (hosted by Maryann Ridini Spencer), from the event and hear interviews with local businesses sharing their green practices!
CLICK HERE: http://bit.ly/LsfoMc
STOP and Smell the Flowers!
Do you find yourself rushing off to work in the morning, and getting home late every night?
Are you taking meals in the car or at your computer?
When you look at your calendar for the week, do you find that you are ever overwhelmed by the endless schedule of activities?
As the years pass by, do you find them getting shorter and shorter with dreams and vacations always put on the back burner?
It's important for your health, well-being and success to stop and smell the flowers - or the coffee - EVERY DAY!
TIPS TO GET THE MOST OUT OF LIFE
*Look at your calendar. Is every meeting and every appointment absolutely necessary? You might find you can combine a few meetings and/or eliminate one or two.
*Are you driving all over town without any plan? Try to organize your meetings in certain areas of town back-to-back. You might also want to coordinate meetings out of the office only 1 day a week. This will save on time and gas money.
*Make a part of every evening and weekends an opportunity to spend quality time with your family. Prepare dinner and weekend meals together. Use this time for uninterrupted conversation minus the electronics. Plan family activities.
*Enjoy the moment - the wind on your face, the taste of morning coffee, the sun on your shoulders.
*When you're eating a meal - Sit down to a table or to nature, and enjoy your meal. Taste it. Eat natural, fresh foods and produce. You'll feel better and find you need less food to satisfy you.
*Meditate and Pray every day. Give thanks for what you have.
*Write down your goals and dreams. Look at them often. You'll find by doing this, you'll begin to see them transpire in your life.
*If you are unhappy or depressed, look inside honestly and work to change what is ailing you. Seek counsel if necessary.
*Whether at home or at work - ask for the guidance and support you need - Delegate when possible.
*Plan ahead for vacations, weekend trips and special getaways that you can look forward to.
*Start TODAY to create love and happiness in your life. It starts with you. Express your love with a card, a text or a small token of your affection.
*Put a smile on someone's face and SMILE a lot!
A friend of mine recently lost a young family member in an accident. Another person I know lost their parent suddenly. Don't let a tragic event find you wishing you spent more time with a friend or loved one.
Take heed that it is the QUALITY of life, and the deep personal relationships that bring meaning - not the superficial material things we can't take with us.
Enjoy simply delicious living EVERYDAY.
Visit my blog at SimplyDeliciousLiving.com for joyous living inspirations and great easy-to-make, simply delicious recipes and cooking videos!
Listen to STOP: SMELL THE FLOWERS Podcast in ITunes, CLICK HERE.
I looked up the word "flexibility" in the dictionary just to read how it would be defined. One definition read:
"The ability of a material to deform elastically and return to its original shape when the applied stress is removed." - Wikipedia
I chuckled when I read that. The image I saw in my mind was of the Superhero Elastagirl in the Disney/Pixar Cartoon, The Incredibles. Her body could stretch and contort and revert back to normal with ease. And seeing that image made me think of the fact that CHANGE requires FLEXIBILITY.
And while we humans might not be able to stretch like Elastagirl (pictured left), in today's world of new technology, mergers and acquisitions, downsizing and job evaporation, in order to survive intact, a person has to definitely remain open and able to adapt -- be flexible -- when necessary.
Some of the most important things you can do when change happens:
Acknowledge the change. There may be some moments of wanting to drown your sorrows in mindless television or eating some good ole' comfort food but then recognize you have to regroup and get organized.
Think positive. Look at change as an opportunity to grow and expand. Life after all, moves forward. Change is one guarantee we can all count on.
Write your thoughts and goals down. Figure out next steps. Plan and brainstorm with friends and associates. This is the time when nurturing relationships come in very handy. If you've built a strong network of friends and business associates, you'll be able to talk to individuals about how they dealt with various changes in their own lives and what advice they might be able to give you.
Get the support you need.
Be kind to yourself. Plan some activities and events that you love that will cheer you up. Be extra conscious of doing this while you cope with change. Doing what you love with the people you enjoy will keep your spirits on an even keel.
I remember, years ago, I was producing and writing for a TV show. When the show got cancelled, I found myself out of work. I was terrified. However, a wise friend told me to relax and have fun while I mounted a new job search. Getting stressed about it wouldn't do me any good.
So I heeded that advice. I took a few days off for a well-deserved rest in a relaxing location. I followed that up with spending my days networking and sending out resumes. And I also took time to go to the gym, watch movies that I never had time to watch and read some wonderful books. I kept busy with friends and family and eventually found an amazing job.
During times of critical change, make sure you eat right. Exercise and get enough rest. Meditation can also work wonders. Surround yourself with positivity.
When you feel better and have the right energy, attitude and
motivation it requires to remain FLEXIBLE to maneuver around life's
twists and changes, YOU BECOME the SUPERHERO of YOUR OWN LIFE!
Enjoy Simply Delicious Living, Today and Everyday!
CLICK HERE TO LISTEN TO THIS PODCAST in iTUNES!
Getting creative with arts and crafts
is a wonderful way to
Not only is it fulfilling,
it can give you a wonderful sense
of accomplishment, boost
unleash a more playful
side of you.
Spring and the Easter and
Passover holidays are a great
to share and give thanks with
those you love. Create a memorable
homemade gift with love to bring to
holiday celebration or to use
as a unique table centerpiece.
One fantastic way to create that special gift or centerpiece is to
get creative painting terracotta pots.
Purchase a terracotta pot at your favorite
gardening or thrift shop.
Select a size of your choosing and
then gather your favorite
Perhaps a vibrant pink, sunny yellow,
lime green, sky blue and orange sorbet.
Then pull out a painting brush and get creative!
Create spontaneously or you might want to draw a design
Choose a base color for your terracotta pot. Paint it. Then take
a pencil and draw your design onto the painted pot. Later, fill in
the design with paint colors of your choice.
Once the paint has dried, you can fill the pot with such items as:
A pretty plant
Jelly beans and other easter candies
Cookies or muffins wrapped decoratively
I still have a terracotta pot that I was given years ago as a gift (with chocolate chip cookies inside), that I use in my office to hold telephone books and other sundry items.
Getting creative with painting terracotta pots doesn't just
have to be reserved for spring either. Make painted gifts
and centerpieces with terracotta pots any time of year or for any holiday.
It's a great activity to do alone - or with your family
Spread some smiles & have a simply delicious
Easter and Passover!
Listen to this Podcast in iTunes!
Simply Delicious Living is, in part, about making every meal
an experience and - when it comes your body-mind-
spirit balance - it's about living a healthy, creative, fulfilling
and joyous life.
There are certain things we do everyday - often without
- Wash our face
- Brush our hair and our teeth
- Take a shower
How many times have you grabbed a muffin, piece of toast,
power bar with coffee to eat while driving in the car? Or
eaten a sandwich doing work at the
computer? What about
nuking a lean
cuisine or TV dinner in the microwave to
eat while watching TV?
I must say, I've been a culprit of all of the above.
However, when you eat like this, usually you grab the
foods that aren't as nutritious for you. You might not even
remember what you ate.
Worse, you might not even be able to
pronounce all the ingredients on the packaging.
Your dissatisfaction with inhaling your meal less than
minutes might even drive you to scan the refrigerator
and freezer for something else to satisfy you.
I've been there too.
What I've noticed for myself, is that when I slow down,
consciously think about what I'm eating, (making sure by
reading the labeling
that it's organic, natural), yet also tasty
to me, I get satisfied more
quickly. I also feel better both
physically and mentally.
Conscious eating has also been a lifesaver in keeping my
weight in check.
What are some great tips to conscious, healthy eating that will
make you more satisfied?
•Plan ahead. Make a list of what foods/meals you'd like to enjoy
each week and what you'll have time to prepare. Create a shopping
list before you visit the market
•Purchase and prepare foods with ingredients you can
and know what they are.
•Eat fresh and local produce whenever possible. This contributes
to your overall health
as well as the local economy and the
environment (less greenhouse gas emissions from importing!).
•Cook, steam, grill or eat your foods raw vs. nuking in the
•Enjoy the foods you like, within reason. If it's dessert you're
out healthy alternatives that will satisfy. (Visit our
Recipe and Video Blog at SimplyDeliciousLiving.TV. We have
some great desserts made with fruit and/or made with very
•Enjoy the preparation. As you make your meal, consider all
the ingredients and what
you're putting into your body - and
your body's history and reaction to them after eating.
•Take the time to sit down and enjoy a meal (minus the
Use it for family
time and for good conversation. If
put on your favorite CD, enjoy the meal preparation and then as you
eat, savor the flavors. I assure you, it will put a smile on your face!
you eat your meal, rather than shoveling the food
non-stop, breathe between bites. Let your brain have a chance to
register that you're getting full.
•Appreciate and give thanks. Thank the farmers, the store, the
food growers, yourself or your loved ones who prepared the
meal - and thank God and the Universe, for the
that you are about to eat that will nourish and satisfy your body
and provide you with sustenance to live and create harmoniously!
LISTEN to the Conscious Eating Podcast! CLICK HERE
and SUBSCRIBE our Recipe & Video Blog
SimplyDeliciousLiving.TV for great recipes and creative
inspirations for joyous living!
By Maryann Ridini Spencer
When I was a child and as I grew up, my mother always taught my brothers, sister and I how to visualize what we wanted to achieve. She was a great believer in positive thinking and "affirming" good.
"Think positive. Goal Set. See yourself achieving what you desire," she would tell us.
"Visualize it in your mind's eye. Don't worry about how you might get there; just see the positive end picture. Say to yourself, I can do it. I deserve it!"
Let me give you some of examples.
My brothers loved to play sports. When it was baseball season, she would tell them before they started their game, "When you get up to bat, see yourself hitting that home run. Put the words "No" and "I can't" OUT of your vocabulary."
When it was football season, she would tell them, "See yourself catching that ball and making that touchdown. Hear and see the crowd cheer. Say, I can do it!"
Some of my favorite hobbies were the home arts - cooking, sewing, decorating. After performing in my first school play at age 12, I realized I also enjoyed acting.
One summer when I was in junior high, I was very bored and complained to my Mom that I was too young to get a paying job. So, when she read in the paper that my school would be starting up a summer theatre workshop for junior high students, she encouraged me to audition.
My mother told me to visualize myself acting on the school stage and
enjoying my time in the theatre.
I did. As a result, for several summers thereafter, I was a happy, active member of the theatre group.
Whether my siblings and I realized it or not at the time, my mother's powerful strategies for visualizing and making positive affirmations, was invaluable to our development.
My father, a professor and PhD, also set an amazing example of how important it was to study and do well in school. Our schooling and homework were always carefully monitored so that we might achieve to our fullest potential.
These positive and empowering messages and examples would serve us well in making a firm foundation in order to venture forth as adults.
A positive attitude can fuel success. It will always make you feel better. Count on it to put you on your path to manifest incredible change.
So what constitutes a positive affirmation?
Every thought you think. Every word you say. Every image that you see in
your mind's eye is an affirmation regardless of whether it's positive or negative.
You've heard the saying, "You are what you eat?" Well, "You are what you believe and what you think!"
While all beliefs and thoughts, both useful and not useful, may be
set in childhood, there's nothing like taking hold of the present in order to enact change today.
We continually "affirm" to our subconscious what we believe about our world and ourselves all day long.
Sometimes using affirmations and visualizing the positive may feel like you're dreaming or being foolish, but in fact, it's the first step in breaking through old belief patterns that do you no good.
Here are some examples of positive affirmations and as you say them, see yourself in demonstration.
•Every cell in my body is healthy, working properly and sustaining me in living a beautiful, healthy and productive life.
•I am so blessed to be working in a job that I love and that provides me with financial success.
•I pay my bills with a happy heart knowing that money in my life is abundant.
*My partner and I love each other and we are surrounded by and totally encompassed in an ever increasing abundance of peace, harmony, serenity, faith, hope, charity, love, health, healing, happiness, joy, success, prosperity and respect.
•I express my needs and feelings in a way where people listen and respond positively to me.
•Love, happiness, peace, harmony and abundance surround my family and me.
There are many books on the market you can enjoy about positive thinking. Visit our Recipe & Video Blog at SimplyDeliciousLiving.tv and search "Creating Abundance" for a reading list.
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Enjoy simply delicious living - today and every day!
According to Wikipedia, the term luck - "is good fortune which occurs beyond one's control, without regard to one's will, intention or desired result."
Do you believe in "luck"? The month of March, with the celebration of St. Patrick's Day on March 17, brings the meaning of the word to the forefront.
St. Patrick's Day is customarily celebrated with parades, wearing green, and for some, a toast at the local pub in honor on Ireland's patron St. Patrick. A favorite iconic symbol of the day is the 3-leaf clover, the shamrock, which St. Patrick used to teach the Irish about the doctrine of the Holy Trinity (three divine persons in one God).
The 3-leaf clover also has a very lucky relative, the four-leaf clover - which, according to legend, brings about good luck if found accidentally. Each leaf of the four- leaf clover represents something wonderful - the first leaf - faith, the second leaf - hope, the third - love and the fourth - luck.
On St. Patty's Day, one often hears the term, "the luck of the Irish" professed. However, examining Ireland's turbulent history, with invasions, colonizations, famines and mass emigrations, one has to wonder about the "luck" part.
For it wasn't until the Irish did immigrate to America, especially during the gold rush years in the latter part of the 19th century, that some lucky Irish prospectors achieved extreme wealth. Hence, the actual origin of the term, "luck of the Irish."
While these prospectors may have been lucky, they also created their own luck.
So, this St. Patty's day, while true luck may
find you, why not begin creating your own luck setting personal and
professional goals and start "visualizing" abundance and that rainbow leading to your pot of gold?!
Creative Visualization by Shakti Gawain
The Power of Positive Thinking by Norman Vincent Peale
The Power of Your Subconscious Mind by Joseph Murphy
And visit SimplyDeliciousLiving.tv!
Images from the YES! Network Launch Party at Lladro Boutique in Beverly Hills on November 17. Photography by Maxine Picard Photography.
She co-hosts "Sustainable Ventura" with Ray Olson on CAPS-TV's VTV, Channel 15 as well as "Simply Delicious Living with Maryann" on Time Warner Cable ON DEMAND.